Historian Jock Phillips embraces two life-size cut-out rugby players as he promotes his book A man’s country?: the image of the pakeha male, a history in 1987. Phillips suggested that rugby grew rapidly and strongly in New Zealand because of its rough physicality, its sociability, and the ease with which a playing area could be found. It was exclusively male, a game for hard men, who suppressed their feelings and ignored physical pain and injury. The book signalled a new thoughtfulness about men and masculinity, prompted in part by the women's liberation movement. There was a growing sense that there were new ways to be a man – the qualities celebrated on the rugby field were not the only option.
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